Three people still missing after EKY flooding, Gov. Andy Beshear shares update on relief efforts

Governor Andy Beshear
Governor Andy Beshear
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 5:55 PM EDT
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WYMT) - Governor Andy Beshear held a news conference Wednesday on the flooding in Eastern Kentucky to share updates on cleanup and relief efforts.

The Governor said there are three missing people confirmed through Kentucky State Police, all three of whom are women.

However, Beshear added this number does not consider other missing person reports made to local agencies.

Mill Creek Rd. cut off by water in Pike County, Ky.
Mill Creek Rd. cut off by water in Pike County, Ky.(WYMT)

He confirmed the death toll remains at 37 in five counties:

  • Eight in Breathitt County
  • Two in Clay County
  • 17 in Knott County
  • Three in Letcher County
  • Seven in Perry County

Governor Beshear said the death toll is still expected to increase.

You can watch a livestream of his conference below.

As Eastern Kentuckians continue to pick up the pieces, sweltering heat poses a new threat.

“Our biggest concern for today and tomorrow is the weather. It is very, very hot,” the Governor said. “Highs are ranging in the 90s. Combined with a humid air mass, it’s going to make it feel much hotter. That’s why we have set up these cooling centers.”

You can find cooling centers here.

“If you don’t have power, if you don’t have a cool place to be, today and tomorrow is going to get really hot,” Gov. Beshear said. “For seniors, people with medical conditions and really everybody, make sure you take care of yourselves.”

Kentucky National Guard Soliders and Airmen aided in flood relief efforts in response to a...
Kentucky National Guard Soliders and Airmen aided in flood relief efforts in response to a declared state of emergency in eastern Kentucky in late July 2022. (Courtesy Footage)(Sgt. Jessica Elbouab | Kentucky National Guard Public A)

Renters and homeowners who were affected by severe storms, flooding or mudslides in Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Letcher, Perry and Pike can apply for individual disaster assistance online here or by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362).

More counties are expected to qualify for individual assistance as FEMA officials continue to assess the damage.

“I would strongly encourage people, because this is a tougher process than it should be, to actually go in and talk to someone,” Gov. Beshear said. “We have been promised mobile folks on the ground will be going neighborhood to neighborhood in the near future to document people’s losses.”

A mobile registration center is located in Knott, Breathitt, Letcher, Clay and Perry Counties:

  • Breathitt County: 421 Jett Drive, Jackson, KY 41339
  • Clay County: Clay Community Center – 311 Highway 638, Manchester, KY 40962
  • Knott County: Knott County Sportsplex – 450 Kenny Champion Loop #8765, Leburn, KY 41831
  • Letcher County: Letcher County Recreation Center – 1505 Jenkins Road, Whitesburg, KY, 41858
  • Perry County: Hazard Community and Technical College – 1 Community College Drive, Hazard, KY 41701

FEMA representatives will be at the centers to help with applications for federal assistance and provide information about other disaster recovery resources.

The centers will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

Flooding in Hindman, Ky.
Flooding in Hindman, Ky.(WYMT)

According to the Governor, power outages have been cut in half. As of Wednesday afternoon, there are about 5,000 reported outages across Breathitt, Knott, Perry, Floyd and Letcher Counties.

He added there are 440 people out of their homes and staying in shelters, but there are many more people displaced than that.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there are 219 people staying at Kentucky State Parks:

  • Jenny Wiley State Resort Park has 147 people in rooms, cottages and campgrounds. Rooms are fully booked, but campground space is available.
  • Four people are staying in one camper at the Paintsville State Park Campground.
  • Pine Mountain State Resort Park has two people staying and five rooms available.
  • Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park has 55 people in rooms. 20 rooms and two cottages are available.

You can find emergency shelters here.

Letcher County flooding
Letcher County flooding(WYMT)

On Wednesday, the Governor said people who are looking for emergency shelter in a travel trailer can register for assistance. You can find more information here.

25 travel trailers are at Jenny Wiley State Park (two are operational and ready), 25 are at Mine Made Campground in Knott County (soon to be operational) and nine are at Carr Creek State Park (soon to be operational).

Bridge inspections continue across Eastern Kentucky. The Governor said 84% of the bridges have been inspected.

21 bridges are still impassable. Four are state bridges and 17 are county bridges.

Jenkins flooding
Jenkins flooding(WYMT)

Mobile “pop-up” driver licensing services will be set up to issue replacement driver licenses, permits and state ID cards for flood victims. You can find more information here.

Donations continue to pour into Eastern Kentucky. You can find more information on donations and resources here.

Governor Beshear announced the Team EKY Flood Relief Fund has raised more than $3 million so far. He also said the fund will help pay for the cost of each victim’s funeral.

“After all that work you put in, for your family, you’re suddenly left with only the clothes on your back,” Gov. Beshear said. “These are proud hard working folks that just lost it all, and maybe even lost someone they love. The least we can do as human beings, as people of faith and values, is to give and do what we can to get them back on their feet.”

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